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Jul 24, 2009
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Se&#241 said:
Priceless.

Keep piling on. I mean... you guys have no sense of shame whatsoever.



O-H M-Y G-O-D.

:D:D:D:D



Exactly, they DO need better doctors. In every sport, there is an agreed-upon silence by all the parties involved so as to make it a level playfield. Just because they bust one athlete or another does not mean all athletes of that nationality are doped. You guys are missing the point big time.

Like I said, if you want to tackle the doping issue all you have to do is put the Australian olympic programme under the microscope and you'll be surprised at what you find.

The big difference: I, a Spaniard, do not point my firget at it. I know the better part of olympians are not clean, including those representing Spain. I am not a hypocrite.

So I guess the corollary of all this is something along the lines of "all countries are doped equal". It's only the "microscope" that differs. I suppose, as a Spaniard, it would be preferrable for you to believe this as you would never need to apologise for your nation's appalling record on doping. Perhaps you are correct. Myself, I will wait for the evidence of systematic doping in Australia to parallell that that exists for Spain before I declare us equal.

P.S. Good luck in the soccer later tonight. I am cheering for Spain because my ex girlfriend is from netherlands and I have a bitter resentment toward them for that reason.
 
Señor_Contador said:
More demagogy. More lies.

Where did you get that information?
Are you serious? You can't possibly be.

How about the media (e.g. Marca) or the specialized press (e.g. Ciclismo a Fondo)? Ever tried reading their forums? I also got that information from my conversations with Spanish cycling fans.

The general opinion in Spain seems to be that, while it's likely that Valverde doped, he shouldn't have been banned because a) it was so long ago why do they keep bringing it up either ban him in 2006 or don't ban him at all man; b) it's unfair cuz everyone else involved is still riding and what's with those football players who were in the documents man; c) they were after him because those dirty Italians are jealous of Spain's victories man.

I'm sure other Spanish forumers here will confirm this.

Where did you get your information, anyway?
 
Jul 22, 2009
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sars1981 said:
So I guess the corollary of all this is something along the lines of "all countries are doped equal". It's only the "microscope" that differs.

Pretty much. I'm certainly not the one pointing my finger at other countries though. Like I said, I'm not a hypocrite.

I suppose, as a Spaniard, it would be preferrable for you to believe this as you would never need to apologise for your nation's appalling record on doping.

Really? If that's the case, namely that we have an "appalling" doping record, then the positive tests would prove that right? Ok, lets see then. List of doping cases in sport (from WikiPedia):

Spain positive cases: 15
Australia positive cases: 20

If our record is appalling, knowing that Spain has a population of 47 million souls... what do you call yours, with a population of 22.5 million?

Name Country Sport Banned substance
Andrew Burns *Australia Swimming Ecstasy
Andrew Johns *Australia Rugby League Ecstasy
Anissa Tann *Australia Football (soccer) Nandrolone
Anthony Gobert *Australia Motorcycle racing Cannabis
Ben Cousins *Australia Australian rules football Methamphetamine
Carey Hall *Australia Cycling Steroids
Justin Charles *Australia Australian rules football Boldenone
Mark Bosnich *Australia Football (soccer) Cocaine
Mitchell Sargent *Australia Rugby league Cocaine
Mitchil Mann *Australia Weightlifting Clenbuterol
Nathan Baggaley *Australia Sprint Kayaking Stanozolol
Nathan O'Neill *Australia Cycling Phentermine
Phillip Adams *Australia Shooting Hydrochlorothiazide
Reni Maitua *Australia Rugby (NRL) Clenbuterol
Richard Smith *Australia Cycling Blood Doping
Sergo Chakhoyan *Australia Weightlifting Stanozolol
Shane Warne *Australia Cricket Diuretics
Stan Lazaridis *Australia Football (soccer) Finasteride
Stephen Pate *Australia Cycling Steroids
Wendell Sailor *Australia Rugby union Cocaine

Name Country Sport Banned substance
Aitor González *Spain Cycling methyltestosterone metabolite
Carlos Gurpegi *Spain Football (soccer) 19-norandrosterone
David Meca *Spain Swimming Nandrolone
Francisco Pérez Sanchez *Spain Cycling EPO
Gervasio Deferr *Spain Gymnastics Marijuana
Gloria Comerma *Spain Field hockey
Jaime Huelamo *Spain Cycling
Jesús Manzano *Spain Cycling EPO, Cortisone, Testosterone, Human Growth Hormone, Nandrolone, Oxyglobin
Johann Mühlegg *Spain Cross-country skiing Darbepoetin
Lourdes Domínguez Lino *Spain Tennis Cocaine
Manuel Beltrán *Spain Cycling EPO
María Isabel Moreno *Spain Cycling EPO
Mikel Astarloza *Spain Cycling EPO
Moisés Dueñas Nevado *Spain Cycling EPO
Roberto Heras *Spain Cycling EPO

And we're not EVEN CLOSE to the USA, Italy or France which obviously have a MUCH LARGER doping problem but you seem to conveniently ignore.

And this is not my opinion, it is a fact.
 
Jul 22, 2009
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hrotha said:
Are you serious? You can't possibly be.

How about the media (e.g. Marca) or the specialized press (e.g. Ciclismo a Fondo)? Ever tried reading their forums? I also got that information from my conversations with Spanish cycling fans.

Be specific. Media? Which one? Post a link. I'm a native Spanish speaker. I will have no problems proving your "most people think" theory wrong.

The general opinion in Spain seems to be

Demagogy at its best.
 
Jul 22, 2009
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Roland Rat said:
Love the "Nadal won, Spain Football won, Contador will win" link people are making.

Britain needs to get a national Puerto style programme going.

Oh, you guys already have it alright!

How do you suppose Wiggins became a top cyclist? By eating oatmeal in the morning?
 
Jul 24, 2009
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Se&#241 said:
Pretty much. I'm certainly not the one pointing my finger at other countries though. Like I said, I'm not a hypocrite.




Really? If that's the case, namely that we have an "appalling" doping record, then the positive tests would prove that right? Ok, lets see then. List of doping cases in sport (from WikiPedia):

Spain positive cases: 15
Australia positive cases: 20

If our record is appalling, knowing that Spain has a population of 47 million souls... what do you call yours, with a population of 22.5 million?

Name Country Sport Banned substance
Andrew Burns *Australia Swimming Ecstasy
Andrew Johns *Australia Rugby League Ecstasy
Anissa Tann *Australia Football (soccer) Nandrolone
Anthony Gobert *Australia Motorcycle racing Cannabis
Ben Cousins *Australia Australian rules football Methamphetamine
Carey Hall *Australia Cycling Steroids
Justin Charles *Australia Australian rules football Boldenone
Mark Bosnich *Australia Football (soccer) Cocaine
Mitchell Sargent *Australia Rugby league Cocaine
Mitchil Mann *Australia Weightlifting Clenbuterol
Nathan Baggaley *Australia Sprint Kayaking Stanozolol
Nathan O'Neill *Australia Cycling Phentermine
Phillip Adams *Australia Shooting Hydrochlorothiazide
Reni Maitua *Australia Rugby (NRL) Clenbuterol
Richard Smith *Australia Cycling Blood Doping
Sergo Chakhoyan *Australia Weightlifting Stanozolol
Shane Warne *Australia Cricket Diuretics
Stan Lazaridis *Australia Football (soccer) Finasteride
Stephen Pate *Australia Cycling Steroids
Wendell Sailor *Australia Rugby union Cocaine

Name Country Sport Banned substance
Aitor González *Spain Cycling methyltestosterone metabolite
Carlos Gurpegi *Spain Football (soccer) 19-norandrosterone
David Meca *Spain Swimming Nandrolone
Francisco Pérez Sanchez *Spain Cycling EPO
Gervasio Deferr *Spain Gymnastics Marijuana
Gloria Comerma *Spain Field hockey
Jaime Huelamo *Spain Cycling
Jesús Manzano *Spain Cycling EPO, Cortisone, Testosterone, Human Growth Hormone, Nandrolone, Oxyglobin
Johann Mühlegg *Spain Cross-country skiing Darbepoetin
Lourdes Domínguez Lino *Spain Tennis Cocaine
Manuel Beltrán *Spain Cycling EPO
María Isabel Moreno *Spain Cycling EPO
Mikel Astarloza *Spain Cycling EPO
Moisés Dueñas Nevado *Spain Cycling EPO
Roberto Heras *Spain Cycling EPO

And we're not EVEN CLOSE to the USA, Italy or France which obviously have a MUCH LARGER doping problem but you seem to conveniently ignore.

And this is not my opinion, it is a fact.

Im sure anyone who takes a less superficial look at this list will find a few hole's in your evidence. This is a generic list of "doping cases". It pays no attention to the specifics of the positive's. Here, your tally has declared equal weight to Australian footballer Andrew Johns, who got busted (retired from sport) at an English night club with an ecstacy tablet in his pocket, and Spanish cyclist Jesús Manzano who tested positive for Cortisone, Testosterone, Human Growth Hormone, Nandrolone and Oxyglobin. Surely these differences would need to accounted? In that spirit, lets recast your list counting only performancing enhansing drugs.

doping
recreational

AUSTRALIA

Andrew Burns *Australia Swimming Ecstasy
Andrew Johns *Australia Rugby League Ecstasy

Anissa Tann *Australia Football (soccer) Nandrolone
Anthony Gobert *Australia Motorcycle racing Cannabis
Ben Cousins *Australia Australian rules football Methamphetamine
Carey Hall *Australia Cycling Steroids
Justin Charles *Australia Australian rules football Boldenone

Mark Bosnich *Australia Football (soccer) Cocaine
Mitchell Sargent *Australia Rugby league Cocaine

Mitchil Mann *Australia Weightlifting Clenbuterol
Nathan Baggaley *Australia Sprint Kayaking Stanozolol
Nathan O'Neill *Australia Cycling Phentermine
Phillip Adams *Australia Shooting Hydrochlorothiazide
Reni Maitua *Australia Rugby (NRL) Clenbuterol
Richard Smith *Australia Cycling Blood Doping
Sergo Chakhoyan *Australia Weightlifting Stanozolol
Shane Warne *Australia Cricket Diuretics
Stan Lazaridis *Australia Football (soccer) Finasteride
Stephen Pate *Australia Cycling Steroids

Wendell Sailor *Australia Rugby union Cocaine

SPAIN
Aitor González *Spain Cycling methyltestosterone metabolite
Carlos Gurpegi *Spain Football (soccer) 19-norandrosterone
David Meca *Spain Swimming Nandrolone
Francisco Pérez Sanchez *Spain Cycling EPO

Gervasio Deferr *Spain Gymnastics Marijuana
Gloria Comerma *Spain Field hockey
Jaime Huelamo *Spain Cycling
Jesús Manzano *Spain Cycling EPO, Cortisone, Testosterone, Human Growth Hormone, Nandrolone, Oxyglobin
Johann Mühlegg *Spain Cross-country skiing Darbepoetin
Lourdes Domínguez Lino *Spain Tennis Cocaine
Manuel Beltrán *Spain Cycling EPO
María Isabel Moreno *Spain Cycling EPO
Mikel Astarloza *Spain Cycling EPO
Moisés Dueñas Nevado *Spain Cycling EPO
Roberto Heras *Spain Cycling EPO

Slightly less misleading.

Also, you noted before that Australia criminalizes its doping much more than Spain does. Wouldnt that be relevant to a list like this? How many convictions occur in Australia that would be suppressed/covered up/ignored if they occured in Spain?

Another thing absent from the "Spanish contingent" here are all the cases like the athletes linked to
Fuentes who were not *Spanish*. No .. they just went to Spain to dope ..

There is so much more to it than a list of positives. Though I concede I did ask for it by talking about records.
 
Señor_Contador said:
Be specific. Media? Which one? Post a link. I'm a native Spanish speaker. I will have no problems proving your "most people think" theory wrong.



Demagogy at its best.
With all due respect, I think your position is very dishonest. Either you're just ignorant and you're making things up, or you're perfectly aware you're not telling it as it is and you're trying to "win" this argument by making me give up if I don't feel like digging up old articles or whatever. I was quite specific providing the names of two publications, but OK:

http://marcawas5.recoletos.es/blogs/Controlador?opcion=9&codPost=5198
http://marcawas5.recoletos.es/blogs/Controlador?opcion=9&codPost=5193
http://www.marca.com/2010/06/02/ciclismo/1275480158.html
http://www.marca.com/2010/05/31/ciclismo/1275318385.html
http://www.todociclismo.com/index.asp?pagina=noticias-carretera&c=152&subpagina=719
http://www.ciclismoafondo.es/front/...=2c90a89c28f3bfd80128f3c9092e0005&visita=true
http://www.ciclismoafondo.es/cfjforum/posts/list/2885.page

Make sure you read the user comments too.

So, what do you have?
 
Jul 22, 2009
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sars1981 said:
Im sure anyone who takes a less superficial look at this list will find a few hole's in your evidence. This is a generic list of "doping cases". It pays no attention to the specifics of the positive's. Here, your tally has declared equal weight to Australian footballer Andrew Johns, who got busted (retired from sport) at an English night club with an ecstacy tablet in his pocket, and Spanish cyclist Jesús Manzano who tested positive for Cortisone, Testosterone, Human Growth Hormone, Nandrolone and Oxyglobin. Surely these differences would need to accounted? In that spirit, lets recast your list counting only performancing enhansing drugs.

doping
recreational

AUSTRALIA

Andrew Burns *Australia Swimming Ecstasy
Andrew Johns *Australia Rugby League Ecstasy

Anissa Tann *Australia Football (soccer) Nandrolone
Anthony Gobert *Australia Motorcycle racing Cannabis
Ben Cousins *Australia Australian rules football Methamphetamine
Carey Hall *Australia Cycling Steroids
Justin Charles *Australia Australian rules football Boldenone

Mark Bosnich *Australia Football (soccer) Cocaine
Mitchell Sargent *Australia Rugby league Cocaine

Mitchil Mann *Australia Weightlifting Clenbuterol
Nathan Baggaley *Australia Sprint Kayaking Stanozolol
Nathan O'Neill *Australia Cycling Phentermine
Phillip Adams *Australia Shooting Hydrochlorothiazide
Reni Maitua *Australia Rugby (NRL) Clenbuterol
Richard Smith *Australia Cycling Blood Doping
Sergo Chakhoyan *Australia Weightlifting Stanozolol
Shane Warne *Australia Cricket Diuretics
Stan Lazaridis *Australia Football (soccer) Finasteride
Stephen Pate *Australia Cycling Steroids

Wendell Sailor *Australia Rugby union Cocaine

SPAIN
Aitor González *Spain Cycling methyltestosterone metabolite
Carlos Gurpegi *Spain Football (soccer) 19-norandrosterone
David Meca *Spain Swimming Nandrolone
Francisco Pérez Sanchez *Spain Cycling EPO

Gervasio Deferr *Spain Gymnastics Marijuana
Gloria Comerma *Spain Field hockey
Jaime Huelamo *Spain Cycling
Jesús Manzano *Spain Cycling EPO, Cortisone, Testosterone, Human Growth Hormone, Nandrolone, Oxyglobin
Johann Mühlegg *Spain Cross-country skiing Darbepoetin
Lourdes Domínguez Lino *Spain Tennis Cocaine
Manuel Beltrán *Spain Cycling EPO
María Isabel Moreno *Spain Cycling EPO
Mikel Astarloza *Spain Cycling EPO
Moisés Dueñas Nevado *Spain Cycling EPO
Roberto Heras *Spain Cycling EPO

Slightly less misleading.

Also, you noted before that Australia criminalizes its doping much more than Spain does. Wouldnt that be relevant to a list like this? How many convictions occur in Australia that would be suppressed/covered up/ignored if they occured in Spain?

Another thing absent from the "Spanish contingent" here are all the cases like the athletes linked to
Fuentes who were not *Spanish*. No .. they just went to Spain to dope ..

There is so much more to it than a list of positives. Though I concede I did ask for it by talking about records.

That's precisely what I'm saying, we need to inform ourselves before we start getting into the realm of demagogy. Look, I'm not saying there isn't doping in Spain, there is plenty of it. I'm just saying that there is doping in every country. Some more than others.

Yes, Spain does have a lax attitude when it comes to doping precisely because you can't seriously give steroids the same criminal rank as cocaine when you're giving them to cancer and asthma patients.

Does the Spanish media tend to turn a blind eye to doping by Spanish athletes? Yes. One can honestly say so because little is said in the Spanish mass media about the subject.

The Valverde case is a good example because Spanish people were, by and large, in favor of giving him some sort of penalty, although they were not OK with another country's olympic agency doing it for them. This is were you go wrong, because you seem to have mistaken the Spanish media's anger toward the CONI's actions as some sort of indirect endorsement of Valverde's doping.

Imagine the CONI trying to investigate Lance? Or Cadel?
 
Jul 22, 2009
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hrotha said:
With all due respect, I think your position is very dishonest. Either you're just ignorant and you're making things up, or you're perfectly aware you're not telling it as it is and you're trying to "win" this argument by making me give up if I don't feel like digging up old articles or whatever. I was quite specific providing the names of two publications, but OK:

http://marcawas5.recoletos.es/blogs/Controlador?opcion=9&codPost=5198
http://marcawas5.recoletos.es/blogs/Controlador?opcion=9&codPost=5193
http://www.marca.com/2010/06/02/ciclismo/1275480158.html
http://www.marca.com/2010/05/31/ciclismo/1275318385.html
http://www.todociclismo.com/index.asp?pagina=noticias-carretera&c=152&subpagina=719
http://www.ciclismoafondo.es/front/...=2c90a89c28f3bfd80128f3c9092e0005&visita=true
http://www.ciclismoafondo.es/cfjforum/posts/list/2885.page

Make sure you read the user comments too.

So, what do you have?

Whithout even getting into the links... How is the forum of a sports newspaper representative of what all Spaniards opine about Valverde's case? Can't you see how stupid your point is? You're basing your opinion on someone else's opinion on a forum!!

Marca doesn't say anything remotely excusing Valverde for doping, it criticizes CONI and the bodies involved in the case for dragging the case for two years and destroying the cyclist's profesional life and let Perico Delgado give his opinion on the case. Needless to say Perico is not happy about what CONI did to Valverde, but how is that complicit or representative of anything?

Could they have been less lenient towards Valverde and criticized him for doping? Yes, but which newspaper in the world does what you expect from Marca or Diario AS? Very few.
 
Jul 13, 2009
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sars1981 said:
The top spin he puts on the ball is directly related to the power and speed in his racquet swing . otherwise you would have to ask why Federer, who has far superior technique, doesn't have that weapon available to him.
I also dont think that Roddick hits the ball harder. He serves a lot faster, but Nadal puts more heat on the ball in general play.

i'm sorry, but you are just mistaken. roddick's forehand is one of the hardest hit balls in the game, ever, by anyone. before federer showed how to return that forehand by just blocking it back (punting if you will), roddick was bludgeoning the other players off the court. players backup to return nadal's shots too, but for another reason--spin makes the ball bounce higher, so it is harder to hit it cleanly unless you are 6'5", like soderling, berdych, or del portro etc. they back up to allow the ball to descend somewhat before they attempt to hit it.

what makes nadal's spin so effective is that it is lefty spin, which is not something most of them have any experience playing against. nadal has high racket speed but that isn't the same as hitting the ball hard; it's hitting the ball fast; federer has the highest racket speed in the game but his shots aren't considered hard. nadal appears to hit the ball hard because he grunts like a pig every time he hits the ball--the grunting isn't exertion, it is to mask the sound of ball against the strings, which gives his opponent a heads up to where the ball is going. there has been talk for several years to make routine grunting a penalizable offense. seriously.

federer has top spin in his arsenal and he is very good at it, but he doesn't use it as often as nadal, for the same reason that he dislikes the drop shot--he feels it's a smarmy tool. heavily spun games were looked down on by most good players, pro and amateur alike, before nadal came along, and a lot of tennis fans still do not like nadal's moonball game and what it is doing to professional men's tennis. classicists feel that matches should be won with clean winners off your own racket, not with unforced errors off your opponent's racket. the classic spinner is that old f**ker at every local court that nobody wants to play against because all he gives you are junk balls.

there is no point in discussing this with you anymore--you are certainly entitled to your own opinion, but not to your own facts. and its just annoying to try to have a conversation with someone who has an uniformed opinion, who insists he knows what he is talking about.

the physics of spin in tennis
 
Jul 13, 2009
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kokohead said:
* When you hear somebody say the ball is going 100 miles an hour, what this really means is the ball has a momentary velocity of 100 mph right after the moment of contact. The ball continuously loses velocity thereafter, especially after striking the ground. In the case of a spin serve, what started out at 100 mph may be 60-70 mph when it reaches the receiver's racket.

* The farther back you stand in the court, the slower the ball will be traveling and therefore the easier it is to hit. This is especially important if you play with a Western grip like Nadal, since he hits the ball at a tangent so as to impart a lot of topspin. Nadal's topspin has been measured at 4900 rpms, compared to an average of 3000 rpms on the ATP (Federer's is something in the low 3000s).

* The tradeoff to standing so far back is you have to hit the ball that much farther in return, and you must also cover a lot more ground. Therefore, it would help to be arbitrarily strong and fast, like Superman. Until Nadal, nobody has ever combined these physical abilities with the skill and mental strength needed to succeed at the highest levels of the game.

* Nadal is incredibly fast on the court and this is a weapon--it is very difficult to hit a winner against a guy who plays 20 ft behind the baseline and can consistently hit the ball back within the deepest foot or two of the opponents court, with 4000+ rpms so that it curves like crazy and bounces up higher than "normal". And this guy can also run down most drop shots so you cannot win by dinking. The result is, in order to finish off a point against him it may take three or four fantastic shots each of which would be a standalone winner against an average player.

* This nearly impenetrable (on clay especially) defense is very intimidating. It causes opponents to try to go for too much--hitting low percentage shots because "percentage tennis" doesn't seem to work against Nadal.

* Whether Nadal personally takes PEDs or not, there can be little doubt that a player with his very physical style would benefit from anything that improves that physicality, within a given match. This does not constitute proof by any means, but people should not kid themselves that PEDs wouldn't be a great benefit to tennis players.

* More generally, another reason cited for PED use on the tour is to improve recovery. Tennis is more like running than cycling, and probably harder on the legs than running is on a distance-covered basis--due to all the lateral movement, starting and stopping, etc. in tennis. In a Grand Slam tournament, you might have a four-hour match then one day off, then another four-hour match. To win the tournament, you've got to do that seven times in a row. Whatever PEDs can improve recovery here would be a great benefit to any player.

* Someone made a comment about there being a lot of "top players" who are over two meters tall. That is almost 6'7". I can't think of anybody who has ever spent a year in the top 20 who is that tall. There might have been somebody, but it is not common. The advantage of height is mainly for the serve. Being arbitrarily tall is great for the serve. Ivo Karlovic is like 6'10" and his serve is virtually unreturnable. But he's only won a handful of minor tournaments in a decade on the tour because he can't move. Most of the top players, like Federer, Nadal, and Sampras, seem to be around 6'1"--this seems to offer the best combination of height benefit for the serve without sacrificing too much in mobility. My guess is, if you made the overhead serve illegal the best tennis players would be well under 6 feet.

i agree with everything you say.

the point that those of us were making in this thread was not that doping would not help at all, but that in tennis, skill will almost always trump physicality, unless the players are at, or are nearly at, parity in their skill levels. (nadal can play the game afterall--his touch volleys prove that).

we have also said repeatedly that the amount of assistance doping would confer is dependent upon the surface--clay courts = more, carpet = less. and none of us has said anything about doping not existing in the sport; i think we just aren't convinced that it has the same career changing ability that it does in some other sports which are not so skill dependent. i also personally think that for players outside of the top ten, the logistics of a year round doping program are pretty impractical and would be very difficult to execute. they go through too many customs checks each year and have too few people to help them.

ps: 60-70 miles an hour is still faster than any human can run ;)
 
spectacle said:
i agree with everything you say.
Really?

kokohead said:
* Someone made a comment about there being a lot of "top players" who are over two meters tall. That is almost 6'7". I can't think of anybody who has ever spent a year in the top 20 who is that tall. There might have been somebody, but it is not common. The advantage of height is mainly for the serve. Being arbitrarily tall is great for the serve. Ivo Karlovic is like 6'10" and his serve is virtually unreturnable. But he's only won a handful of minor tournaments in a decade on the tour because he can't move. Most of the top players, like Federer, Nadal, and Sampras, seem to be around 6'1"--this seems to offer the best combination of height benefit for the serve without sacrificing too much in mobility. My guess is, if you made the overhead serve illegal the best tennis players would be well under 6 feet.

spectacle said:
i. players backup to return nadal's shots too, but for another reason--spin makes the ball bounce higher, so it is harder to hit it cleanly unless you are 6'5", like soderling, berdych, or del portro etc. they back up to allow the ball to descend somewhat before they attempt to hit it.
[/URL]

See kokohead says that the only advantage to height is a fast serve. You correctly point out that when players are tall, they find it easier to deal with topspin, which is another big reason for height being so important in todays game.
So you dont agree with every point;)
 
Jul 11, 2010
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The Hitch said:
See kokohead says that the only advantage to height is a fast serve. You correctly point out that when players are tall, they find it easier to deal with topspin, which is another big reason for height being so important in todays game.

I think if you go back to my post you will see I said the advantage of height is mainly for the serve; I did not say nor do I believe it is the "only" advantage.

I would agree with your general contention that taller players find it easier to deal with topspin, but I would like to make it a bit more specific here: two very tall players (Del Potro and Soderling) seem to enjoy a matchup advantage compared to Federer when they are playing Rafael Nadal.

IMO Federer is the second-best claycourt player after Nadal. Nobody else has beaten him consistently on clay. This suggests to me that Nadal has a "special sauce" that Federer cannot overcome, and the most likely candidate is Nadal's excessive spin, combined with Federer's one-handed backhand.

Both Soderling and Del Potro are considerably taller than Federer and have two-handed backhands. I believe this neutralizes Nadal's big advantage that he has over Federer, and at least makes it "possible" for Nadal's opponent to win.

However, while extreme height (for a tennis player) may be "helpful" compared to Federer's height here against one player (Nadal), it does not really help Del Potro and Soderling against anybody else. Federer is 6-2 lifetime vs. Del Potro and 12-1 vs. Soderling.

Also, I would like to reiterate that there are two aspects here worth considering: an individual match (such as an individual matchup against Nadal--let's call this "matchup strength"), and one's ability to sustain a given level of performance throughout an entire tournament, an entire year, and an entire career (let's call this "sustained performance").

IMO Soderling and Del Potro enjoy matchup strength vs. Nadal compared to Federer vs. Nadal. BUT, Soderling and Del Potro (and very tall players in general) do not and never have enjoyed "sustained performance superiority" compared to shorter, 6'1"-ish players. A lot of what makes Federer great is his ability to sustain a very high level of performance over many years. His record of 23 consecutive Grand Slam semifinals is so far ahead of everybody else, it seems like Joe DiMaggio's hitting streak.

I don't believe a 195cm player can come close to Federer's (or Nadal's) sustained performance, no matter how great the tall guy looks in any individual match. And people have been seduced by individual performances of tall guys for as long as I've been following tennis. Every now and then a tall guy will come out and just own the supposedly greatest player of the moment, and then people will think the tall guy is going to dominate the game. The tall guy then disappoints over the course of his career.

I remember a former pro from South Africa telling me how 195cm Richard Kraijicek was going to dominate the game after Krajicek won Wimbledon (his one and only GS title). But Krajicek was plagued by injuries and never really lived up to the billing. Same thing for Goran Ivanisevic.

A few years later, we saw 193cm Marat Safin totally shame Pete Sampras in the US Open finals when Safin was just 20 yrs old. Again, Safin's career never really lived up to expectations. Soderling had a great junior career including an Orange Bowl title but has struggled with injuries as a pro and hasn't been a GS title contender until the past year. Del Potro has one GS title and also has struggled with injuries. He was ranked 81 as recently as 2008.
 
Jul 11, 2010
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spectacle said:
the point that those of us were making in this thread was not that doping would not help at all, but that in tennis, skill will almost always trump physicality, unless the players are at, or are nearly at, parity in their skill levels. (nadal can play the game afterall--his touch volleys prove that). we have also said repeatedly that the amount of assistance doping would confer is dependent upon the surface--clay courts = more, carpet = less. and none of us has said anything about doping not existing in the sport; i think we just aren't convinced that it has the same career changing ability that it does in some other sports which are not so skill dependent. i also personally think that for players outside of the top ten, the logistics of a year round doping program are pretty impractical and would be very difficult to execute. they go through too many customs checks each year and have too few people to help them.

ps: 60-70 miles an hour is still faster than any human can run ;)

I agree with what you are saying. I actually think most of the PED advantage for most players would lie in assisting recovery over the course of the season (year) as opposed to improving performance in an individual match. Nadal is one of the few players whose entire game seems to rely on superhuman strength and speed, so perhaps for him match performance would also be a factor if he is a doper. But if you look at some of the other guys who've been penalized or alleged to have doped, they are really skinny--remember Petr Korda (!), and Chela. Whatever they were allegedly doing, it did not add any muscle to them.

As for 60-70mph, that is a lot faster than a person for sure, but not when the ball has to travel 90 feet and the person only has to move five feet. Men's serves regularly get into the 115's or 125's (or 135's if you are Roddick), but groundstrokes aren't nearly as fast. I remember watching Marat Safin hit a huge forehand some years ago and they clocked it at 95mph. The groundies probably "feel" faster because they can travel farther in the air before striking ground, but most "fast" groundstrokes are probably in the 80-85mph range. The guy who is now the most famous for having the biggest forehand is Fernando Gonzalez. You can find a Youtube video where he hits it 111mph. But that is like Roddick hitting a 151mph serve--a crowd-pleaser for the moment, but doesn't win Grand Slams.
 
Señor_Contador said:
Whithout even getting into the links... How is the forum of a sports newspaper representative of what all Spaniards opine about Valverde's case? Can't you see how stupid your point is? You're basing your opinion on someone else's opinion on a forum!!

Marca doesn't say anything remotely excusing Valverde for doping, it criticizes CONI and the bodies involved in the case for dragging the case for two years and destroying the cyclist's profesional life and let Perico Delgado give his opinion on the case. Needless to say Perico is not happy about what CONI did to Valverde, but how is that complicit or representative of anything?

Could they have been less lenient towards Valverde and criticized him for doping? Yes, but which newspaper in the world does what you expect from Marca or Diario AS? Very few.
Well, that post is confirmation that you are dishonest. You don't want to debate. You're asking for proof of something that can't be proved, as this is social science after all, and you refuse to analyze the data. Marca's position is in line with what I said earlier, if I may quote myself:
The general opinion in Spain seems to be that, while it's likely that Valverde doped, he shouldn't have been banned because a) it was so long ago why do they keep bringing it up either ban him in 2006 or don't ban him at all man; b) it's unfair cuz everyone else involved is still riding and what's with those football players who were in the documents man; c) they were after him because those dirty Italians are jealous of Spain's victories man.
Several forums are representative of what the general opinion in Spain is inasmuch as the demographics of Marca are made up of casual sports fans and those of Ciclismo a Fondo are made up of cycling fans. Delgado's a respected authority in Spain and his opinion on the subject of doping (and that of his fellow TV commentator Carlos de Andrés) gets a lot of publicity.

I'm still waiting for your proof that this is not the most widespread point of view in Spain, by the way.
 
I think things have changed in recent years with more topspin. No tall person will ever challenge federer for his record but no one under 6 ft will ever do so either.

But del potro has only just burst onto the scene. When they did meet in a big match on clay – sf rg 2009, del potro was the better player and lost the matchin the head. Since then on the hard courts del potro beat federer in the us open and in the atp finals.
Similarly soderling has only recently realised his potential and he too has beaten federer, this year at rg. The advantage isn’t only in dealing with topspin, but also the fact that it is easier to hit flat winners, when your hitting it from that high above the net. This is exactly what del potro was doing in the final.

Also Murray is tall- 190 cm but has a weak serve, and relies on speed. I think the height helps him likewise, because its easier to get the ball over the net from that height.
 
Jul 24, 2009
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spectacle said:
i'm sorry, but you are just mistaken. roddick's forehand is one of the hardest hit balls in the game, ever, by anyone. before federer showed how to return that forehand by just blocking it back (punting if you will), roddick was bludgeoning the other players off the court. players backup to return nadal's shots too, but for another reason--spin makes the ball bounce higher, so it is harder to hit it cleanly unless you are 6'5", like soderling, berdych, or del portro etc. they back up to allow the ball to descend somewhat before they attempt to hit it.

what makes nadal's spin so effective is that it is lefty spin, which is not something most of them have any experience playing against. nadal has high racket speed but that isn't the same as hitting the ball hard; it's hitting the ball fast; federer has the highest racket speed in the game but his shots aren't considered hard. nadal appears to hit the ball hard because he grunts like a pig every time he hits the ball--the grunting isn't exertion, it is to mask the sound of ball against the strings, which gives his opponent a heads up to where the ball is going. there has been talk for several years to make routine grunting a penalizable offense. seriously.

federer has top spin in his arsenal and he is very good at it, but he doesn't use it as often as nadal, for the same reason that he dislikes the drop shot--he feels it's a smarmy tool. heavily spun games were looked down on by most good players, pro and amateur alike, before nadal came along, and a lot of tennis fans still do not like nadal's moonball game and what it is doing to professional men's tennis. classicists feel that matches should be won with clean winners off your own racket, not with unforced errors off your opponent's racket. the classic spinner is that old f**ker at every local court that nobody wants to play against because all he gives you are junk balls.

there is no point in discussing this with you anymore--you are certainly entitled to your own opinion, but not to your own facts. and its just annoying to try to have a conversation with someone who has an uniformed opinion, who insists he knows what he is talking about.

the physics of spin in tennis

I don't really disagree with any of the above. When you say "racquet speed" this is essentially what I am talking about with Nadal - obviously a guy like Roddick or Tsonga will be able to generate more pace on the ball but, as I'm sure you know, if the ball is already traveling at a fast speed Nadal's explosive racquet swing will send it back faster. And because of the top-spin he puts on the ball, he can strike it ferociously all the time with a higher winning percentage (less chance of it crashing into the net). Federer can hit a blistering forehand like Nadal but there is much higher chance of netting it so he will do so less....

So it really comes back to top spin. Isn't your analysis on this a little simplistic? In your post above you attribute it's success to two things: "Lefty spin", and that it's somehow "low-brow" tennis .. as if Federa and the other top players are too dignified to employ it. Is this really what you think? You seem like a guy who knows a fair bit about tennis so I can't imagine that you would think that this is all there is to it.

I put it down to a few things:
a) The way he grips his racquet
b) skill
b) The strength in his biceps

(I don't regard the "lefty spin" as at all relevant since there are plenty of left handed players and these guys have all been playing since they were young children)
 
Jul 22, 2009
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hrotha said:
Well, that post is confirmation that you are dishonest. You don't want to debate.

No, contraire mon ami, I do want to debate, but I want to have a discussion with someone who is able to make some sense. Spanish media's refusal to investigate doping in Spain does not equal Spain is doping heaven. Opinions on a Spanish online newspaper's forum are not representative of the way Spaniards view doping. If you can't tell the difference then I suggest you take a Basic Understanding 101 and Statistics 101 class.

This has nothing to do with me being dishonest because I am not the one pointing fingers here. If you ask me, overall, it "smells" as though you have a warped view of Spain. I have no other explanation as to why you would be so insistent on Spain when directing all your doping-related ire. I mean, you have France. You have the USA. You have Australia. All these countries have a larger positive test rap sheet than Spain. Yet, for some sinister reason, they enjoy none of your attention and demagogy.

You're asking for proof of something that can't be proved, as this is social science after all, and you refuse to analyze the data.

First of all, you have no data. You have a perception of Spanish opinion, there is a difference. What is it you don’t understand? Secondly, you post links to Marca as though the newspaper itself is endorsing the opinions posted in its forums, while Marca itself does not endorse those opinions. Thirdly, none of the Marca articles you posted prove anything that you say, at all. What Marca and it's editors insinuate, including Perico, is that if the UCI or any governing body was to penalize Valverde for his involvement in Operación Puerto why wasn't it done earlier, instead of waiting for another governing body, which has no jurisdiction in Spain mind you, to open up an investigation and drag another cyclist's face through the mud, all the while spending millions of Euros (which could've been put to much better use) to find a link between the bag of blood found in Fuentes' apartment and that taken at a TdF stage. That's all they're saying.

Now, had you said that the Spanish media's doping-related rhetoric and editorials aren't equally critical of the Spanish athlete's positive cases then I'd understand and probably have added to it with an "I agree". I mean, I surely miss an article from anyone in the Spanish media openly asking Alejandro Valverde how in the world the blood collected at the Prato Nevoso stage is the same as the one found in Fuentes' apartment. We certainly need similar Manzano/Diario As-type of articles. In this I do agree.

Marca's position is in line with what I said earlier, if I may quote myself:

Several forums are representative of what the general opinion in Spain is inasmuch as the demographics of Marca are made up of casual sports fans and those of Ciclismo a Fondo are made up of cycling fans.

Whaaaaaaaaaat? LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL.

Wait a minute. YOU are saying that YOUR perception of the underlying "tone" (for lack of a better term) of a particular discussion (or direction of) in three Spanish sports newspapers' online forums are representative of the "general opinion" on doping in Spain. Needless to say, this is a very dumb thing to say.

What I think you REALLY want to say is that many Spanish cycling fans have a rather benign opinion on doping, especially if the dopers are of Spanish origin. If this is it, then I sort of agree. If you're insinuating that my grandmother wants Valverde to keep cycling even though he was involved in a doping-related incident then I'd have to disagree. My grandmother doesn't even know who Valverde or Perico are. But she's well aware of right vs. wrong.

Delgado's a respected authority in Spain and his opinion on the subject of doping (and that of his fellow TV commentator Carlos de Andrés) gets a lot of publicity.

Perico Delgado is the cycling specialist for TVE. Nothing more, nothing less. He's the Bob Roll of Spanish TV. If you want to make him The Expert of Experts on cycling and/or doping then that's your call. I am Spanish, a cycling fan and I am telling you he is not an "authority" by any stretch of the imagination. He's a commentator who's very, very concern with what is happening with cycling. He's not saying that doping is good. His opinion, and this is coming from someone who reads Marca, Diario As, El Mundo and El Pais daily; is that he criticizes the fact that even though we know doping is a widespread problem in sports, cycling seems to concentrate 95% of the bad publicity.

That's all.
 
Mar 13, 2009
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spectacle said:
nadal turned pro and burst on to the scene at 15 when he beat federer at key biscayne that year--but yeah he looked pretty mature then too (except that in real life, he is really nowhere near as big and beefy as he looks on tv).

as i said in that other thread, players in the top 20 have been busted too, and agassi had rumors swirling around him forever (and since he admitted to being a meth-head, anything is possible).

Agassi was said to have run out of a drug test complaining his child was being kidnapped. I would be leaning to apocryphal on this, absurd meter higher than Sendai richter. timeline this with his marriage to Steffi no backhand.

Rafa lost about 7 kgs last christmas, 2009, came back and got thumped at the antipode open. Then his body hypertrophy'z (licence for verB) back to hyper trophies.

You like to be a French tennis player on coke, and not an Argentinian player on meth. Richar Gasquet, my favourite player with a big cranium, gets off for his coke suppositories positive, but all Argentinian players who picked up a racket in the 90's get pulled for amphetamines.

Korda on nandrolone. Greg Rosedski gets off for an amphetmine positive, but not multi personality disorder, cant decide if he is Canuck or Brit, say, drop him in the middle of the Atlantic, then let him decide.

Agassi's coach, <cough cough> is from the Ferrari school, and looks like his should be pumping iron with Schwartz in Mr Olympia, with his powerlifting titlez. Wondering where Agassi would get his gear from? Not Nike.

Gil Reyes is now competing with Danny Trejo for Orientalist character acta rolez in Tarantino and Rodriguez schocks that Eddy said he would be proud of.
sp8.jpg
danny-trejo.jpg

one can see Gil Rayz whipping out a electric machine gun Donnay racquet in Dawn of the Dead
 
Dec 30, 2010
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"Golden age"

Se&#241 said:
Wow! And I thought these slogans were a thing of the past...

Little did I know.


People discount everything that East Germans "accomplished" in the 70s, and everyone discounts everything that Spanish "athletes" have "accomplished" in Spain's "golden age" 1992 to current.

In both cases, everything was "accomplished" by being more doped than your competitors, because high level officials in the offending countries looked the other way.


Where is the Fuentes list (was it covered up to protect Spanish "heroes")?

Why was Contador "exonerated", by a SPANISH organization,when he was caught red-handed ?

Why was Bezabeh "exonerated" ?

Why was Domiguez "exonerated" ?

Why did the President of Spain (amongst others) interfere in a case agains a Spaniard ?

Why is Fuentes still practising "medicine" after getting caught twice helping athletes dope ?

Where are the actions against the athletes on the Puerto, and Galgo lists ?

Why did Lissavetzky lie about what sports have athletes on the Fuentes list ?